Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Podcast Deep Dive: Killing the Town with Storm and Cyrus, Ep. 6

Storm and his co-host Cyrus host MMA superstar Paul Lazenby this week
Photo Credit: WWE.com
Show: Killing the Town with Storm and Cyrus
Episode: 6
Run Time: 1:19:13
Guest: Paul Lazenby

As a noted Old Man On His Porch Telling Kids to Get Off His Pro Wrestling Lawn, Lance Storm rubs some the wrong way. And he happens to be tight with Chris Jericho, so Jericho got him a spot on his new podcasting network. Storm hosts the show with Don Callis, best known to fans as Cyrus, the announcer and character from ECW.

The format of their show is to draw equally from the present and the past. Because so many shows seem unable to not offer some talk about current happenings, and probably also because Storm can't help but weigh in on such matters, they discuss the recent NXT Takeover from Toronto. MMA wrestler and wrestling-affiliated guy Paul Lazenby comes on to offer his perspective as an audience member at the show. They all agree that the NXT crowd too often goes into business for themselves, and Cyrus in particular hates it: "If you went to a big Broadway show or Shakespeare somewhere, it would never occur to you to start yelling things in the middle of it, or interact with it. But yet, if you go to dinner theater in Ocala, FL for example, you can clank your glasses, spill your food, you can yell stuff out and hoot and holler. To me, that's what this has become - it's like bad dinner theater where the crowd feels entitled. If I were Triple H, I would stop the show. I would have walked out and stopped the match and said, 'All you marks keep your mouths shut.'" But other than that, they all agree that the show was top-notch, because of course it was.

After Lazenby leaves, Storm and Cyrus briefly discuss the shocking nature of Brock Lesnar's loss to Goldberg. While Storm is usually the guy to point out everything WWE did wrong, he actually thinks the match could be justified. "Sometimes the quick loss is less damaging than the long one," he says. "You've got the 'I took him lightly, he caught me off guard, he broke my rib on the first spear, I never got a chance to get my bearings.' It's that quick three-second knockout in MMA where fans wonder if it was a lucky punch. This might be that oh my god upset that's gonna get people talking."

While their discussion of current events is good, the show is at its best when Storm and Cyrus are reminiscing on years past. A listener asked them to tell stories about working with Abdullah the Butcher, and both guys have excellent tales. Cyrus wrestled Abdullah in Lebanon in a match where he was asked to blade himself. He did it, but he did it too well and bled so hard he couldn't see. Abdullah actually got mad and chased him around the ring, to the point that Cyrus had to flee into an ambulance and instruct them to speed away from the 400-pound psychopath running after them. Storm's experience with Abdullah involved him calling a monkey flip in the middle of their match. Storm reluctantly did it and nearly shattered his own legs, all for a lousy spot in which Abby just flopped over.

They also look at a specific ECW TV episode from the time when they were both in the company, in 1999. They run down the multiple Taz promos, Joey Styles cutting an angry promo on WCW, and the recapping of Storm attacking Shane Douglas. The most insightful moment comes when Storm is analyzing the promo package hyping an upcoming match between The Dudley Boyz and The Gangstas. The Dudleyz do a pre-taped promo, then it cuts to Joey Styles explaining the storyline, then it cuts to a separate pre-taped promo from The Gangstas. Storm points out that if WWE had done this, both teams would likely be in the ring together, having to hold back their anger and emotion, while also having to explain the entire story. The way ECW did it, both teams were allowed to be as fierce as possible, sounding like authentic human beings, with no crowd interruption.

Some out there are no doubt rolling their eyes at the prospect of even listening to Lance Storm's opinions on wrestling. But I think the guy has an unfair reputation as a cold robot. He's not a hilarious person, but he at least has a sense of humor, and his ability to break down pro wrestling is almost unparalleled. Cyrus's reason for being there is to balance the personalities and be more of that ridiculous persona. He too is a smart person who knows what he's talking about. If these guys can keep up this formula and not tap out their keg of stories too quickly, this will continue to be a show that is at least occasionally worth your time.